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Every sewists needs to do it, hand stitching… such as for sewing buttons, tacking facings, hooks and eyelets, and even entire hems and seams! Even when today almost all sewing is exclusively done with the machine, hand stitches are still key to know and need to be used. Especially when it comes to hand-sewn embellishments, and couture garments the hand stitches are particularly recommended. Read on to see 6 different hand stitches you should know (and how to sew them)…

Sew with simple/regular sewing thread. However, double sewing thread or thicker buttonhole yarn is used for sewing fastenings such as buttons and press buttons. For just pure sewing, inexpensive stitching thread is a good choice. Also the hand sewing needle size should fit to fabric and thread. It is recommended to use the following: the thinner and finer the fabric, the thinner and finer the thread and the needle. The beginning of the seam is secured with a knot and the sewing end with a few backstitches.

Running stitch

This “pre-stitch”, the running stitch is particularly useful for bringing together two or more pieces of fabric, or to secure pockets, appliqués and other parts just temporarily. Marking and placement lines can also be marked with this stitch on fabric like pocket placements, etc. It is sewn from right to left. The stitches can alternately be seen on the upper and lower side. The stitch length varies according to how durable the stitches need to be – the smaller the better they are also suitable for lining and keeping.

Slanted Clamping

For this stitch, the oblique tensioning is applied whenever the fabric layers can not move either longitudinally or transversely. Thus the oblique tensioning stitch is suitable for stitching fabric and volume fleece or lining together. When the stitch is set at a small distance, it can give the fabric a firm hold, for example, on the collar. Stitching from top to bottom or vice versa.

Back stitch

The backstitch is used a lot for the hand sewing in of zippers. This stitch is only a small point on the right side of the fabric. Sewing is from right to left. On the right side of the fabric, only 1 to 2 fabric threads are picked up with the needle before being pierced again. On the left side after about 5 mm is cut out again.

Quilting Stitch

The quilting stitch is the most durable of all hand stitches, but is used only for short seams or for repairing seams, if it is not worthwhile to put the machine into operation. It is also good for re-sewing seams of clothing. This is the quilting stitch: stitching from right to left. Insert the needle and cut out again after about 5 mm, then pierce 3 mm behind the cutout and cut out after a double stitch length.

Staffing Stitch

The staffing stitch is hardly visible and is mainly used for the sewing of lining or for repairing a ruptured seam, which is difficult to access from the inside. Sewing is from right to left. Insert the needle into the fabric above fold line of other fabric and bring up on other side at desired stitch length in a slight diagonal right on the breaking point/fold. Please note that the right side of the garment is not punctured.

Witch's Stitch

The witch’s stitch is actually a decorative stitch that comes from the stitch area. The witching stitch is used, for example, for embedding non-ironable embroidery or two fabric edges. For very thick and elastic fabrics, the witch stitch can also be used for hem sewing. This is how the witch’s stitch goes: from the left to the right, the stitches are stitched with small preliminary stitches, each offset obliquely upwards and downwards. When sewing on the insert, care should be taken that the stitches do not reach through the right side of the fabric. This means that only 1 to 2 threads are to be picked up on the fabric. The stitches themselves may be larger, but the fabric underneath may not be included.

Which stitches have you tried before?

1 Comment

  • 03003e1f_2_large

    Oct 19, 2017, 05.00 AMby sewing fanatic

    this is so helpful thanks very much!! ive learnt some new stitches for useful purposes. i have only used running and backstitch so far; but an experienced sewer told me recommended i try and get in the habit of handbasting. ill have to try …

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